Older male wearing glasses with his hand on his chin

What Is The Retina?

The retina is a light-sensitive membrane that lines the back interior of the eye. The membrane’s light sensitivity allows it to capture images (much like film) before encoding them and sending them to the brain via the optic nerve. Because processes involving the retina are so complex, it leaves room for the function of the retina to be hindered in a variety of ways.

Watch Our Retina Q&A

4 Common Retina Conditions

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration robs individuals of all but their most peripheral vision. The center of vision becomes a void with only dim images or black holes, because the disease attacks the macula, where our sharpest vision occurs. It is a progressive condition that affects millions of people around the world.

The first symptom of macular degeneration is typically blurred central vision when performing visually detailed tasks such as reading and sewing. Blurred central vision may also make straight lines appear slightly distorted or warped. As the disease progresses, blind spots form. In most cases, if one eye has macular degeneration, the other eye also develops the disease. The extent of central vision loss varies according to the type of degeneration. For more information about the types of macular degeneration, read the associated question in the FAQs below.

Research on how to treat macular degeneration continues to progress. New technologies now exist for treating the disease. In the meantime, high-intensity reading lamps, magnifiers and other low-vision aids help people with macular degeneration make the most of their remaining vision.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetes can affect many aspects of a person’s health. It can have very damaging effects on the eye as well. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels in the back of the eye become weakened and damaged, causing swelling or leakage of blood in the eye. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy: Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), which is the early, less severe form of the disease; and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), the later stages of the disease which causes the most damage to a person’s vision. For more details about diabetic retinopathy, visit our webpage dedicated to the condition.


Floaters are abnormal specks in a person’s vision. They can appear as tiny spots or small curvy lines that move along with your eye. Floaters are usually the result of problems in the vitreous and can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Foreign matter in the vitreous
  • Physical injury to the eye
  • Eye diseases

While floaters do not have significant adverse effects on overall vision, it is important to monitor these spots closely since they could indicate a more serious condition.


Uveitis is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye that consists of the iris, ciliary body and choroid. The uvea is the pigmented inside layer of the eye, lying beneath the sclera and cornea, and comprises the iris, choroid, and ciliary body. Uveitis may be caused by an eye injury, inflammatory diseases, or inflammation that develops after eye surgery. Your doctor may recommend blood work to evaluate possible causes if he/she suspects it may be secondary to an undiagnosed systemic condition. Uveitis disrupts vision primarily by causing problems with the lens, retina, optic nerve, and vitreous. Symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Cloudy vision
  • Floaters
  • Eye pain
  • Eye redness
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Headaches

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to tissue damage, germs, or toxins. It produces swelling, redness, heat, and destroys tissues as white blood cells rush to the affected part of the body to contain or eliminate the insult.

Types of Uveitis

Anterior uveitis frequently (iritis) – affects the front of the eye. Inflammation of the iris (iritis) is the most common type of uveitis.

Intermediate uveitis – consists of vitritis, inflammation of the jelly-like part of the eye (vitreous cavity). When there is inflammatory material on the pars plana, the condition is called pars planitis.

Posterior uveitis – inflammation of the retina and choroid. Posterior refers to the back of the eye.

Pan-uveitis – is when inflammation exists in all layers of the uvea.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the initial consultation take?

Please allow three hours for the consultation and diagnostic procedures.

What is the vitreous?

The vitreous attaches to certain areas of the retina and fills the inside of the eye. It is the gel-like substance that gives the eye shape and volume. Foreign matter or fluid in the vitreous can be very harmful.

What are the types of macular degeneration?

There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry.

Dry MD is the most common. It is caused by the aging and thinning of blood vessels under the macula which results in mild, yet gradually occurring loss of vision that is especially noticeable during activities such as reading. Dry MD accounts for about 80% of all macular degeneration cases, but leads to only 20% of cases in which there is a severe loss of vision.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over 55. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that patients diagnosed with moderate-to-advanced disease decreased that risk by 25% and reduced the risk of associated vision loss by 19% by taking the original tablet high- potency antioxidant AREDS formula supplement everyday.

MaxiVision Macula Formula vitamins contain 60 vegetarian capsules that were created from the insight offered by AREDS and AREDS2. They consist of high levels of zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, copper, and vitamins C and E that are thought to keep the eyes healthy. Lutein is believed to promote ocular health because of its presence in the macula. The vitamin should be taken daily to keep your eyes protected from factors such as UV rays and free radicals.

MaxiVision Macula Formula Vitamin is a great supplement for anyone to take regularly to aid in the prevention of macular degeneration (or to assist in slowing the progression of the disease). Its unique formula is a combination of the ARDES and AREDS2, two long-term studies done on the effects of vitamins and minerals on eye health. Taking the dietary supplement daily can prevent damage done to the eyes by free radicals, UV rays, and hereditary factors.

Wet MD is less frequent but accounts for the majority of cases with severe vision loss. It is significantly more aggressive in nature and is caused by an abnormal growth of new blood vessels that leak blood and other fluids. Wet MD disrupts the central viewing function of the macula resulting in visual distortion and eventually the loss of central vision entirely.

Research for treatments of macular degeneration has progressed dramatically. New technologies now exist for treating the disease. In the meantime, high-intensity reading lamps, magnifiers and other low-vision aids help people with macular degeneration make the most of their remaining vision.

Ways to Pay
Request an Appointment
Our locations
Patient Portal

Our locations

1751 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd. Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm

10050 SW Innovation Way Suite 101 Port St. Lucie, FL 34987
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm

1050 Southeast Monterey Road Suite 104 Stuart, FL 34994
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm

600 University Blvd. Suite 100 Jupiter, FL 33458
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm

1515 N. Flagler Dr. Suite 500 West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm

7593 W. Boynton Beach Blvd. Suite #280 Boynton Beach, FL 33437
M - F: 8:30am - 5pm

Florida Vision Optique: Monterey Medical Center

1050 SE Monterey Rd STE 103 Stuart, FL 34994
Mon-Fri: 8:00am-5pm

Tradition: Healthpark One

10050 S.W. Innovation Way Port St. Lucie FL, 34987
Mon-Fri: 8:00am-5pm